In looking at the work of artists such as Yinka Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist living in the United Kingdom, and the brightly colored Dutch wax fabric he uses in his artwork, we will explore the concept of transoceanic exchanges, cosmopolitanism and hybridization within the contemporary challenging growth at work in Lagos, Nigeria. We will discuss Lagos as a global place of encounter and negotiation among traditions since the foundation of Lagos Island and its later peaceful annexation to the Benin Empire before the arrival of the Portuguese in the area and the slave trade (ca. 1470). The lecture will also investigate the contested role played in Lagos growth by British colonialism and the development of colonial infrastructures, especially its highways, motor parks and markets. We will end the lecture by looking at the work of local/global artists—such as Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Oyejide—on Lagos as a multi-cultural and post-colonial metropolis.
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